Scientists have discovered how to create man-made artificial DNA strands that mimic deadly diseases such as the flu, Ebola, cancer, and HIV. The researchers claim that the visionary treatments could be the key to defeating these killer diseases. In fact, human trials have already begun and results are said to be promising.
The Boston News Times reports that the treatments work by injecting patients with man-made DNA strands that imitates the disease. This initiates an “immune response” to the disease, enabling the immune system to recognize and eliminate the disease threat if exposed. The treatment works by teaching the immune system to recognize a specific protein found in the specific disease and eliminate it before it sickens the patient.
The treatment is in the trial phase as Inovio, one of the companies responsible for creating the technique, studies the artificial DNA’s ability to prevent women with cervical lesions from getting cervical cancer. Dr. Joseph Kim, chief executive of Inovio, says that the results have been promising and that the treatment could technically become a “universal cancer therapy.”
“We are able to clear pre-cancerous lesions which, left untreated, can turn into full-blown cervical cancer. We are at the front edge of a new wave of medicine that will change the way that cancer is treated. New approaches will lead to better, safer treatment of patients who are stricken with cancer.”
The “universal cancer therapy” would be possible due to the fact that 85 percent of cancers contain a protein called hTERT. By injecting the patient with an artificial DNA strand with the hTERT protein in it, the body would be able to recognize the protein and attack it before the individual became ill. It is also noted that the treatment could also be used on a whole host of other deadly diseases such as HIV, Hepatitis, Ebola and flu.
Inovio is known for their synthetic DNA vaccines and claim they work on viruses, cancers and targeted bacteria.
“Inovio’s synthetic DNA vaccines consist of DNA plasmids encoded to produce one or more antigens associated with a target pathogen (e.g. bacteria, virus or cancer). As a carrier of genetic code, these DNA plasmids, which are circular pieces of DNA, have the advantage of being very rapidly designed and formulated.”
Similarly, researchers have also successfully removed HIV from a living strand of human DNA.
What do you think about the possibility of man-made DNA being injected into a human host to potentially ward off deadly diseases? Would you take these pioneering new vaccines if offered?
[Image Credit: Getty Images/ Scott Gries]